Liberia – Tackling Type One

05 October 2017

”If it wasn’t for Life for a Child the story of type 1 diabetes in Liberia would only be expressed as mortality rate. Management of diabetes at the individual level is beyond challenging due to pervasive poverty resulting in food scarcity and the inability to purchase insulin” Augustine, our man on the ground in Liberia.

 

Life for a Child has been supporting children and young people in two centres in Liberia for the last six years with a third centre recently joining the program. Augustine reports;

”Prior to the partnership, there was no systematic way for children with diabetes to obtain routine care for their diabetes, or a regular supply of insulin, syringes and glucometers with test strips. Insulin especially is a scarce commodity in Liberia due to cost.”

Liberia is a country where chronic disease is rarely supported, with the Ebola outbreak being a recent priority for the health facilities. Other challenges include a scarcity of refrigeration and transportation problems. Patients visit the clinic twice a month to collect their insulin, sometimes from as far at two hours away, funding their trips by themselves. Over the years the clinic has managed nineteen patients, between the ages of 6 and 16 years old.

Life for a Child arranged for Dr Julia von Oettingen, a Paediatric Endocrinologist to visit the centre where she is a frequent welcome visitor to guide local diabetes management. Julia (far left) and Augustine (far right) are pictured here with some of the young people supported by the program in Liberia.

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Augustine Julia von Oettingen with group

Monrovia young people

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